Construction Cost

Mass Timber Moves Mainstream

Sustainability, Aesthetics, Height Code Revisions Attract Attention

Published 12-2-2020

Efforts to make mass timber construction a viable alternative to concrete and steel took a giant step forward last year when Walmart announced that the 2.4 million sf of office buildings on its new Bentonville, Ark., headquarters campus would use a structural system of cross-laminated timber manufactured from regionally harvested southern yellow pine. It’s not just in the office environment where wood is becoming a contender. “We see increasing interest in using mass timber structures for research/lab buildings, especially at universities that are in major timber-producing regions,” says John Starr, a principal at Lord Aeck Sargent, a Katerra Company (LAS). Starr cited facilities at Georgia Tech, Oregon State, and Michigan State as examples.

Expediting Laboratory Design Within a Changing Environment

Early Involvement of the Entire Team is More Critical Now than Ever

Published 9-16-2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for the research community to respond quickly to changing markets and to understand the value of laboratory spaces that are flexible, adaptable, and scalable. We’ve seen stadiums converted to makeshift hospitals, “drive-through” testing sites pop up in vacant parking lots, and testing laboratories continually ramp up production to expedite results. This quick-thinking behavior has been inspiring to witness but daunting to execute. Laboratories, by nature, are among the most complex building typologies, where the utmost importance is protecting both the health and safety of their occupants and the integrity of the research. The complexities of the resulting design can be challenging to undertake, but when faced with the extreme circumstances of a pandemic, it is possible to expedite the process with a combination of strategies.